Friday, May 24, 2024

Anti-Israel occupiers could lose federal student loans under new GOP Senate bill

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FIRST ON FOX: Republicans are threatening the federal financial aid provided to college students who commit crimes during the anti-Israel protests sweeping universities across the country. 

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., introduced the No HAMAS Act on Thursday, joined by eight other Republicans, including Sens. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Steve Daines, R-Mont.

“Mobs of pro-Hamas students have flagrantly violated the law, destroyed campus property, and resorted to violence against fellow students and law enforcement. Hardworking taxpayers shouldn’t have to keep paying for the college tuition of convicted lawbreakers,” Tillis said in a statement to Fox News Digital. 

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Demonstrations across the country have resulted in arrests. (Fox News Digital)

He added that his bill is “commonsense legislation that will cut off federal aid for grown adults who are breaking our laws, spewing antisemitism, and openly embracing terrorists.”

The measure would disallow anyone convicted of a crime that occurred during a university protest that involved “unlawful assembly, rioting, or trespassing on the campus” or property damage from being considered eligible “to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance” under the Higher Education Act of 1965, which authorized numerous student aid programs. 

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Sen. Thom Tillis

Tillis is threatening to cut off student financial aid of those convicted in university protests. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Between April 18 and May 3, police arrested or detained more than 2,200 people during demonstrations at about 49 college campuses in 26 states. 

The most prominent of the encampments was at Columbia University, where protesters ultimately took over a campus building before police were called in. 

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Anti-Israel protest on Penn campus

Anti-Israel demonstrations have taken place across the country. (Getty Images)

“In Joe Biden’s America, hardworking taxpayers are forced to aid Hamas-sympathizing students who blatantly violate the law by trespassing and destroying campus property,” Blackburn told Fox News Digital in a statement. “There ought to be a clear lesson for these students: if you choose to break the law, you lose your federal assistance.”

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Blackburn in February 2024

Sen. Marsha Blackburn also sponsored the bill. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

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Tillis’ measure joins a slew of other Republican bills aimed at restricting federal benefits to students who participate in anti-Israel demonstrations that escalate into illegal behavior and universities that allow them to go on unfettered.

The Department of Education did not immediately provide comment to Fox News Digital but has previously said it does not comment on pending legislation. 





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